Treatment: Lithotripsy

Lithotripsy is a procedure that is usually carried out in hospital. It uses high-energy shock waves to disintegrate stones in the kidneys, ureters, or bladder. The fragmented stones will then be passed in the urine, avoiding the need for surgery. Painkillers are given before the procedure since there may be some discomfort; children are usually given a general anaesthetic. For a few days after lithotripsy, you may have blood in your urine, and the treated area will feel bruised and tender. However, serious complications are uncommon.

Undergoing lithotripsy

The stone is located using X-rays. A machine called a lithotripter focuses high-energy ultrasonic shock waves on to the stone through a water- or gel-filled cushion placed under the back.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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